Sunday, August 17, 2008

Frederick Hart (1944-1999)

A sculptor I greatly admire is Frederick Hart. He is probably best known for my favorite of his works, the "Ex Nihilo" creation above the west entrance to The Washington National Cathedral.

Another of his wonderful works is "The Three Soldiers," near Washington's Viet Nam Memorial. Of it Hart wrote, "I see the [Viet Nam Memorial] wall as a kind of ocean, a sea of sacrifice that is overwhelming and nearly incomprehensible in the sweep of names. I place these figures upon the shore of that sea, gazing upon it, standing vigil before it, reflecting the human face of it, the human heart...The portrayal of the figures is consistent with history. They wear the uniform and carry the equipment of war; they are young. The contrast between the innocence of their youth and the weapons of war underscores the poignancy of their sacrifice. There is about them the physical contact and sense of unity that bespeaks the bonds of love and sacrifice that is the nature of men at war. And yet they are each alone. Their strength and their vulnerability are both evident. Their true heroism lies in these bonds of loyalty in the face of their aloneness and their vulnerability."

You can access the Hart web site by clinking on the link on his name above. Spend some time enjoying, reading quotes, admiring his work. Hart professed a conversion to Christianity, a decision he came to while working on the Cathedral. Sometimes art changes its creator... May that be true of us.

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